$26 billion in aid. noda will show his determination to support asean. well to "newsline." the japanese prime minister plans to pledge assistance worth 2 trillion yen to asean to hel the regional bloc strengthen its unity. they aim to develop into an economic community by 2015. it's working to improve regional sbree integration through measures to enhance
infrastructure and standardizing customs procedure. noda will announce the aid to ascene at a summit meeting on friday. he hopes it will expand infrastructure exports and investment in the he region. japan will participate in 33 projects. these include improving major roads and airports, introducing efficient customs procedures, and launching disaster prevention observation satellites. japan will engage in fund-raising efforts in cooperation with the asian development bank. aside from the aid plan, noda will back support for research on a road building project to link dawi to the thai border. the assistance is designed to encourage construction of roads crossing the region. through these measures the japanese government hopes to boost relations with asean to counter china's growing influence in southeast asia.
ascene lead asean leaders in bali have rewarded myanmar for reform efforts. we're in bali with more details of the asean meeting. >> reporter: the ten leaders are meeting here in bali to discuss several important issues for this region. myanmar took the spotlight today and it's military-backed government is now officially set to become chair of the regional bloc. asean leaders agreed on thursday it would chair the organization in 2014. it will give international recognition to one of the asia's most isolated and authoritarian states. myanmar was originally in line to take the rotating chairmanship in 2006 but a sean decided to skip the turn because of human rights abuses.
after the meeting they welcomed asean's mission. >> we seek harmony moem and abroad. >> indonesia also held a news conference explaining the group's intention. >> we're in agreement with the fact that significant changes, significant developments have taken place in myanmar. we are trying to ensure that the process of change continues. the momentum is mained. >> myanmar held a general election last year ending decades of military rule. the civilian-led administration was inaugurated in march and has taken steps towards democrat sgrags. it held dialogue with the pro-democracy leader and released some political prisoners. she gave a cautious welcome to the prospect of myanmar chairing asean, although she called for more progress towards democracy.
the united states has indicated that it may be ready to improve ties with myanmar, and that could include the lifting of sanctions dependent on continued reform such as the release of more political prisoners. and now our reporter from nhk jakarta bureau joins us with an analysis. is the asean leaders' decision to award myanmar the role of xharm a sign they approve of the progress towards democracy? >> yes. most asean nations have been positive by myanmar taking the chairmanship of the bloc. they took into consideration opposition from the united states and europe, but recently myanmar has taken steps to promote democracy that enabled a asean to give it the chairmanship with confidence. there's a sense of crisis among
asean members. they believe myanmar cannot remain alone on the lowest part of the bloc. they're working it to achieve regional community by 2015. they fear that myanmar held back their progress towards that goal. with that in mind, asean is now ready to take responsibility for myanmar's democraticization. >> how might taking the chairmanship role at asean affect myanmar's international situation. >> people in myanmar have expressed hope it might help them advance towards their goal of a better life. >> translator: it's great. now we can expect reliable electricity, better internet connections in the wider network all up to international standards. >> translator: as the chair country of asean, the government
will have to work within the international community. that will benefit the country. >> the decision is likely to be a key test for myanmar to return to the international community. is myanmar up to the challenge? >> well, becoming chair of asean was a long-held w myanmar. now the government faces another major challenge, that is getting economic sanctions by the u.s. and europe lifted. the government of myanmar apparently wants to revitalize its economy by resolving this issue. some countries are also eyeing the lifting of sanctions and are seeking ways to improve ties with myanmar. the country is likely to find itself the focus of international attention as an untapped market because of its long history of military rule. >> thank you very much. now, the president of the united states barack obama has arrived here in bali, and on saturday
he'll attend the east asia summit, a first for a u.s. president. on friday asean leaders will hold separate meetings with each of their counterparts from china, japan and the united states. they'll likely discuss disputed islands in the south china sea claimed by some asean members as well as china. join us again tomorrow for an update on those delicate discussions reporting from bali. ai joins us for the latest in business news. italy's new prime minister is under enormous pressure to turn things around, and he made his first policy speech. >> yes, he did. all eyes were on that policy speech foto see what he would. he told parliament he will carry out austerity measures and reforms saying these will lead to economic growth for the country. monti made his first policy speech on thursday.
he pointed out three pillars the government needs to focus on in order to reduce public debt. their fiscal rigor, economic growth and social equality. monti expressed his resolve to cut the debt saying the future of the euro will depend on what italy does in the coming weeks. he said his government will cut parliamentary and administrative budgets and carry out reforms to ensure a fair system for pensions, employment, and taxes. that's not doing much to ease fears. bond yields in spain rose to 7% on thursday. this level is considered unsustainable, making it tough for spain to conduct fiscal rehab additir rehabilitation on its own. the yield temporarily surged to 6.8%. this prompted traders to sell a wide range of euro zone sovereign debts and pushed the
yield on italian government bonds up to 7%. sell orders increased for the bonds of france and austria as well, even though their credit ratings are among the highest. bond yields declined later as the european central bank bought the government bonds of spain and italy in the afternoon. however, the central bank was the only active buyer in the european bond markets. pam of the royal institute of international affairs, a london-based independent research institute, said political instability in countries struggling with debt is feeding concerns. >> one of the reasons is definitely the fact that there is political uncertainty in the countries which are more at risk, and so in particularly italy and spain. panic generates more panic. the question now is how to stop this panic. probably the most plausible option is that -- an
intervention of the european central bank. >> meanwhile, greece has seen mass demonstrations for the first time since the inauguration of the new coalition government under prime minister lucas papademos. over 30,000 people, including labor union members, held massive rallies in athens on thursday. the demonstrators voiced opposition to belt-tightening measures imposed under the previous government. this include tax hikes and cuts in public sector jobs. the protesters also demanded the new government put no further burden on the public. prime minister papademos won a vote of confidence in parliament with over 80% of lawmakers in favor of the austerity bill. tokyo stock prices are falling this friday morning as the growing european debt crisis prompted investors to place sell orders on on a wide range of shares. the nikkei index stands at 8,378 down just about 100 points with
a loss of 1.2%. topix is down by 1.2% kurncurre at 719. sources say concerns are mounting among investors after the spanish government bond yield surged to 7%. an overnight plunge on wall street was another factor for sell orders in tokyo. look at the currency markets. the dollar is move inning a narrow range. the greenback is changing hands at 76.97 to 98 yen. the you're yo is at 103.54 to 59 yen. they saw upward pressure continues on the safe haven yen as market players remain concerned about the european debt. let's look at the latest long-term interest rates. the yield on the bench march 10-year japanese government bond is down about one basis point. let's also take a look at some other market figures.
that's the latest from business. now it's back to katherine. >> thanks very much, ai. the first group of thai workers with japanese firms inundated with flooding with come to work in japan. search thai workers flew from bangkok on thursday led by japanese employees. production remains halted at the firm's flooded factory in an industrial complex near bangkok. the company plans to send metal molds to japan to resume production.
>> translator: the company's production has stopped, so i'm glad to be able twoso work in japan. >> the thai floods have damaged about 460 japanese businesses. drainage work is under way in some industrial complexes. it's expected to take several months before production is fully restored. the japanese government estimates that several thousand thai employees will be able to work in factories around the country through its support measures. the king of bhutan has expressed hope japan will take a greater role as a leader in the global community. the king was visiting the diet with the queen on thursday as part of the couple's six-day visit to japan. in his speech in the lower house, the king referred to the march disaster. he said the japanese people have handled a terrible crisis with great strength.
>> yet, there is one nation that can rise stronger and greater from such adversity, it is japan and her people. >> the king said his nation is convinced that the united nations security council must be expanded to better deal with global challenges. he added that japan should take a leading role in the international framework. the king concluded his speech by praying for japan's well-being in bhutanese. he received a standing ovation from the lawmakers. they will visit disaster-hit fukushima prefecture on friday. the grounds self-defense force has begun drills in southern japan using the country's main strstay battle t. the drills started at the range in oija prefecture on thursday. they're part of a series of large scale exercises that began a week ago. this is in line with japan's new
defense guidelines adopted in december 2010 to boost security in remote islands in southwest japan. at the range, troops conducted a mock attack using type 90 battle tanks deployed from hokido. this is the first large scale participation by troops for drills in the region. the drills at the range will last until tuesday. the kabuki theater is a traditional art that combines acting and dance. it has a history of over 400 years. all of the roles on stage are played by males.
it this man has been one of the leading women for the last 40 years. his dancing techniques captures the essence of female elegance, and he has fans all around the globe. >> last week kabuki actor was awarded the prestigious kyoto prize which is given to people that made major contribution in the arts and sciences. we sat down with him to find out what the essence of a woman's beauty is when expressed by a man. >> reporter: he's 61 years old. he was first introduced to kabuki at the age of 5. enthralled by the beauty to stage, he started to train the following year. what was it that attracted you to taking on the roles?
>> translator: it was because they are so beautiful. there was something magical about the aesthetics of kabuki. the elaborate costumes, the dramatic costume changes, people transforming into birds, things like that. >> reporter: you had absolutely no interest in playing male roles? >> translator: it wasn't that i wasn't interested. the roles just called out to me. >> reporter: last week he did a work smop in kyoto. he shared with his audience the subtle techniques he uses playing women's roles on stage. >> translator: the first thing is to keep your feet turned in. that creates a line like this. and when you turn to the right, you drop your left shoulder. that makes the movement more graceful.
>> reporter: in kabuki there are detailed rules and forms of expression that govern the actors' movements. there are specific rules for the hand movement, the angle of the face and the way the body is held. he has his own approach to the roles. >> reporter: when playing the roles, do you try to imagine yourself as a woman expressing emotions such as jealousy or love? >> translator: strictly speaking, i can't understand what women really feel, because imt not a woman. all i do is express human emotion through the filter of the female form. i can never truly know what a woman feels. >> reporter: when dancing in
kabuki what are you expressing? >> translator: while it's important to see things for what they are, sometimes i think it's more important to look past that. if you've just come to watch a man dressed up as a woman, then that is all you will see. if you look beyond that, you will see that it's a male projection of the ideal of a woman. there are differences between it and real women, and for the audience that is what makes it more fun it to watch. because their imaginations seem more than their eyes are actually viewing. >> so what you say is the fact that these roles not acted by women open your imagination? >> translator: exactly, and i think that's what a work of art is supposed to do. >> reporter: in 2008 he appeared in a traditional chinese oprah playing a female role. throughout his career he's tried
to expand his art by taking on thee at cal forms outside of kabuki such as ballet or contemporary theaters. he said his pursuit of beauty and perfection will never cease. >> translator: in art there is no such thing as perfection. the same goes for life. you can never reach perfection in life. things change and time moves on. if you think you've reached your goal, you're finished. >> reporter: how do you see your changing? >> translator: from now on i'm in decline. >> reporter: really? >> translator: absolutely. >> it's impossible to stop the aging process. everything erodes and declines. he says that true butd tee is something that never stays unchanged. >> reporter: do you think there
is an ultimate beauty? what is the beauty that you're aiming to capture? >> translator: there's no use in clinging to the idea of ultimate beauty. in this world there is never perfect beauty or perfect balance. the essence of beauty is never constant. today, tomorrow, the day after, it's always changing. i can never be satisfied with what i think is beautiful. i have to reach for what the audience will find beautiful and continue to strive for it. otherwise, there is no real beauty. >> just really elegant hand movements there. all right. well, it's an overcast friday morning in tokyo. let's find out what's in the forecast for japan and other countries with sake omori.
>> hello. welcome back to the weather update. let's look at what's happening across east asia. a developing low pressure is approaching bringing heavy rains and strong winds as well as thunderstorms across western japan. we're anticipating up to 200 millimeters of rain in the next 24 hours. the heavy rain will spread to the region on saturday. in terms of up temperatures, winds are blowing, so we can expect warmer temperatures nationwide throughout the day today. the same system is producing heavy rain across the southern korean peninsula. for china it's wet across the east. the northeastern portions look at up to 10 centimeters of snow in the next 24 hours, but especially west across the provinces and rain could develop as we head into saturday. taiwan is also experiencing ongoing heavy rain. the ground is already very well saturated, so this area is prone to flooding and landslides. we expect 19 degrees in tokyo
with cloudy skies and 16 in seoul dropping down to minus 11 here. heading over to the americas then, it has turned quiet and nice across the east. the southern tip of the florida peninsula and parts of the eastern seaboard are looking at some showers, but that taper off into friday. meanwhile, a northwesterly flow is producing lake-effect snow across the great lakes, and snow could become heavy at times into friday morning here. up towards the east heading towards the west, a wintry storm is impacting the southern parts of british columbia as well as parts of northwestern states. we're anticipating as much as 20 centimeters of snow in the northern rockies, up to 45 centimeters are possible across the cascades and with strong winds it could cause low visibility as well as blustery
snow. we're anticipating first snowfall across seattle, only 4 degrees and 7 in vancouver and dropping down to the single digits in d.c. with 8 and 7 in new york with plenty of sunshine. finally, let's go over to europe. a couple of fronts are producing scattered thunderstorms and heavy rain across islands and the northern uk. the conditions stay the same in the next 24 hours. the system will also affect the western iberian peninsula starting fridayup towards the n is moving into scandinavia and reaching finland as well as northwestern russia in the next 24 hours. otherwise, it's largely going to stay dry and settled under a high pressure system. we're expecting 7 degrees in stockholm and 1 for moscow and 2 in kiev. staying a seasonal 10 degrees in paris and 14 in madrid. warming up to 18 in lisbon.
japanese prime minister noda plans to pledge assistance worth 2 trillion yen or about $26 billion to asean to help the regional bloc strengthen its unity. they aim to develop into an economic community by on 2015. it's working to improve regional integration through measures such as enhancing infrastructure and standardizing customs procedures. noda will announce to asean at a
summit meeting on friday. he hopes it will expand exports and investment in the region. japan will work in 33 projects, including improving major road and airports, and launches sdauser prevention observation satellites. japan will engage in fund-raising efforts in cooperation with the asian development bank. aside from the aid plan, noda will back japan's support for research on a road building project to link the port town in myanmar to the thai border. the assistance is designed to encourage construction of roads crossing the region. through these measures it is japanese government hopes to boost relations with asean to counter china's growing influence in southeast asia. that's all for this edition of "newsline." do stay with us.